Schillinger A, Koenig D, Haefele C, Vogt S, Heinrich L, Aust A, Birnesser H, Schmid A: Effect of manual lymph drainage on the course of serum levels of muscle enzymes after treadmill exercise. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2006;85:516–520.
Improving muscular recovery after exercise is an important topic in sports medicine. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of manual lymph drainage on the course of serum levels of muscle enzymes after an extended treadmill exercise.
Fourteen recreational athletes (seven women, seven men) were included in the study. The participants underwent a graded exercise test on a treadmill ergometer to determine the individual anaerobic threshold (IAT). Seven days after the graded exercise test, all subjects performed 30 mins of treadmill exercise at an intensity equivalent to IAT. The subjects were randomized into two groups of seven persons. One group was treated with manual lymph drainage (ML), whereas the control group (CG) received no treatment after the endurance exercise at IAT level.
After an increase immediately after exercise, a fast decrease in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and in aspartate aminotransferase (AST) concentration was observed, with significantly lower values for LDH after 48 hrs in the subjects having received lymph drainage treatment. The course of creatine kinase (CK) levels was comparable, but did not reach significance.
Manual lymph drainage after treadmill exercise was associated with a faster decrease in serum levels of muscle enzymes. This may indicate improved regenerative processes related to structural damage of muscle cell integrity.